It’s always an exciting time, the rattle of new paws, when the last addition to the family arrives home. Whether it is a small puppy or an older rescue dog, there is always one question in the mind of every family. How do we feed them?
With almost 9 million dogs in the UK, the pet food industry is booming, and it’s no surprise that families want the best for their dogs. These furry babies are an important, integral part of family life, and what was once an easy decision – dry, homemade or canned – is now more challenging because the market offers many choices.
Raw dog food, natural dog diet, dry, wet, frozen, cold pressed,
to name just a few. Add to that goodies like hypoallergenic, gluten-free, fresh ingredients, healthy human meat – how do you choose food for your dog when everything is just as good as the others? Where to start? The first step is to understand that all dogs, like humans, are different. Whichever path you choose, you need to ensure that the diet you choose is 100% balanced and complete.
This means that your dog will get all the necessary nutrients to be as healthy as possible.
There are several factors you also want to consider.
From the total cost to the place where you will store the groceries. Raw food options will need space to freeze; wet and dry food will be somewhere cold and without moisture. Holidays are also important to think about. If you enjoy traveling abroad but can’t take your dog with you, you need to think about what conditions kennels may have, or if you’re more likely to go on holiday to the UK, can you properly store dog food?
Read the label
Like humans, dogs need nutrients and a balanced diet. You should always choose foods that contain a lot of meat and one that does not contain cheap fillers like meat flour, cereals, wheat, barley, beet pulp and corn. These fillers have no nutritional value. While they may not be that expensive, you may end up feeding more. Quality dog food does not use fillers, which means your dog will feel full longer. Avoiding cheap ingredients also reduces the risk of allergens.
avoid sugar, artificial colors, preservatives
and other boosters because they harm the health and well-being of your dog.
For puppies, choose foods with higher levels of protein – they need extra calories to grow into bigger, stronger and healthier dogs, so finding foods specifically designed for a young or younger dog is very important.
Wet, wet or dry
All products on the market, in all categories, have their advantages and disadvantages. There will be persistent raw materials and those who insist that the dog should eat expensive, medically approved dry food. It’s actually the best recipe with simple, high-quality ingredients that meet your dog’s nutritional requirements.
Think about what your dog needs when you think about which way to go next – after all, she is a dog, and although she is a valuable member of your family, their needs are very different from a person’s needs. It doesn’t need to look nice on a plate and it doesn’t need a lot of fancy ingredients – your dog’s diet should smell delicious (to your dog, not you) and give him everything he needs to be healthy. be.
Raw dog food
Food producers of raw foods generally believe that dogs thrive in what they ate before they were domesticated – that is, raw meat. Most raw food manufacturers list benefits such as a brighter coat, healthier skin, less stool and higher energy levels.
If you decide to skip raw or BARF (biologically acceptable raw foods), make sure to
Adhere to exceptional food hygiene as these foods carry the risk of bacterial infections like Salmonella and E. coli. You also need to make sure that your diet is complete and balanced and that the bone content is not too high as this can cause constipation. You will need extra space to freeze, and you will also need to ensure that the food is completely thawed before feeding.
Wet dog food
Wet dog food comes in a tin, tray, bag or cardboard box and should be kept at room temperature and processed in the same way as your cooked meat. Wet food can taste tastier than other options for your dog because it has a more intense smell and taste, and a higher moisture content can help your dog stay hydrated, which is ideal if your dog doesn’t drink too much for days.
The benefits of a wet diet can include firmer stools, improved digestion, a healthier weight, a shiny coat, and healthier skin. Wet food can have all the nutritional benefits of a raw diet – if the food is lightly steamed and properly packaged.
Certain foods and packaging, such as food for humans, will lose most of their nutritional value due to prolonged cooking at high temperatures. There is also a risk of oxidation when the meat looks pink in the middle and brown on the outside when oxygen is introduced into the food.
There are options that are relatively new on the market that combat this – innovative cartons like Tetra Pak® keep food fresh longer and reduce oxidation – Tetra Pak® is also fully recyclable, which here, in French, is always a bonus and an important aspect shop.
Dry dog food
There is a wide range of dry foods that can vary greatly both in price and in preparation. Extrusion, baking, cold pressing, air drying or freezing – each has its advantages and disadvantages.
No matter what you choose, you should always choose top quality dry food as it will contain high quality ingredients. Make sure that the food you choose does not contain cheap proteins in the form of meat flour or fillers like corn, because that indicates poor quality food.
Dry food is absorbed more slowly through the system, so if you have a dog that works mostly and exercises minimally, you may want to go with a mixer or an older person / lungs.
The mixer has a base for chopping (dry food) and green or wet tops. Mixers give your dog variety and balance in the diet, but you need to calculate the percentages correctly to give them enough of everything they need.
The best way to do this is to talk to your dog’s vet.
Your vet will be able to advise you exactly how much each food you need to give.
Fresh or homemade
A relatively new option that is advertised as “home cooking”. These brands use fresh ingredients with a minimal level of processing, but must be kept in the refrigerator (or freezer if you want to use them later).
If you decide to cook food for your dog, it can be difficult to find the right balance. Puppies especially need the best possible nutrition as they grow up.
There are so many options to choose from when you get a newcomer to your family, it is always best to research and seek advice. Consider your personal circumstances, lifestyle and budget and finally stick to what you think is best.
Every dog is different, and some diets suit some dogs more than others. Always choose quality, natural products. Consider whether the brand you have chosen matches your personal outlook on life – environmentally friendly, locally sourced, etc.
Once you decide what to feed (and which brand), stick to it if you don’t have a problem. Once you opt for a complete and balanced diet, you don’t have to add any supplements – unless your vet asks you to. If you decide you need to change your diet or brand, do it slowly, for at least 2 weeks. Any sudden changes can cause stomach upsets.
Finally, a feeding guide is a guide. If you have a more active dog, they may need more than the recommended amount, but if you have an older or less active dog, you can reduce the amount of food you feed. Let your dog (and his waist) be your guide. Veterinarians use a “body condition assessment” to assess whether a dog is overweight, although this is not the case with every breed, this is a good place to start.